The Maker Of The AK-47 Just Unveiled A ‘Flying Car’ For Military Use

Gear

In the decades since its ubiquitous AK-47 assault rifle became a staple of fighting forces across the world, legendary Russian weapons manufacturer Kalashnikov Concern has applied its engineering ingenuity to unusual military-grade technology, from unmanned tanks to autonomous gun systems to a clothing line. But now, Kalashnikov Concern is taking aim at the gadget we were promised as in the futuristic cities of tomorrow: the flying car.


The “flying car” unveiled by Kalashnikov officials in a Sept. 25 promotional video, a slender metal shell festooned with 16 sets of rotors, looks less like a Jetsons-style levitating sedan and more like a skeletal interpretation of those nifty speeder bikes from Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. And as Popular Mechanics points out, the lack of a conventional fuel engine — the carburetor in that “car” — makes “hovercycle” a more accurate description of the vehicle.

Kalashnikov Concern's new 'flying car' in actionPhoto via Kalashnikov Concern/YouTube

That doesn’t make it any less cool, though! The hovercycle is essentially a leather saddle mounted on a gaggle of drone rotors directed through a pair of joysticks mounted to the steel chassis. If anything, it resembles the Kitty Hawk Flyer, a prototype hovercraft developed by a startup with funding from Google cofounder Larry Page.

Kalashnikov Concern's new 'flying car' in actionPhoto via Kalashnikov Concern/YouTube

A lightweight, nimble craft like the Kalashnikov hovercycle carries significant appeal for reconnaissance and logistics operations over uneven ground (conducted by, say, U.S. Special Operations Command in countries like Yemen or Syria), and the U.S. Army has for years worked alongside UK company Malloy Aeronautics to develop a drone-powered “hoverbike” to create "a new class of Tactical Reconnaissance Vehicle (TRV)."

Obviously, the current Kalashnikov prototype is far from battle-ready, lacking both armor and weaponry, which will necessitate design tweaks to accommodate for the additional weight. But with both U.S. and Russian defense agencies making rapid advances in the space, it seems possible we’ll see the first few of these skeletal hovercycles skimming across foreign battlefields in the near future. Let’s hope their operators keep their eyes on the road:

Let’s just hope their operators keep their eyes on the road:

Photo via Kalashnikov Concern/YouTube

U.S. military advisors could be taking a self-driving pack mule back to Afghanistan with them on their next deployment.

Read More Show Less
U.S. Army/Chavaughn Washington

Over 300 soldiers were found to have enlisted after either failing a required fitness test, or never taking it at all, according to documents obtained by Army Times.

Read More Show Less

WASHINGTON — The presidential helicopter isn't supposed to leave scorch marks on the White House lawn. So the Navy and Lockheed Martin Corp. are working to fix a "high risk" problem after the new Marine One did just that in a test without the president on board.

Read More Show Less

You have probably seen plenty of friends posting pictures of themselves as elderly folks on Facebook, courtesy of the viral app called FaceApp. Perhaps you've even given it a try yourself.

But what would happen to your military chain of command board if everyone from the President to the Defense Secretary got the same treatment? Well, you're in luck my friend, because we decided to find out.

Read More Show Less

Editor's Note: This article by Gina Harkins originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

A new Marine Corps anti-drone system that attaches to all-terrain vehicles and can scan the skies for enemy aircraft from aboard Navy ships was responsible for destroying an Iranian drone, Military.com has learned.

Read More Show Less